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After a full day of activities, or an equally intense day of lounging around, you deserve a drink! Keep reading for a few of our favorite restaurants overlooking the city, bay, and the Pacific.

The Nolen

Sit 14 floors high in the center of downtown at The Nolen. This rooftop bar and lounge has a laid-back atmosphere with an impressive craft cocktail program. Opt for a classic drink or ask for the Dealer’s Choice of the day, which can range from cinnamon chili infused whiskey to a bright berry inspired concoction. The Nolen is a great place to begin an evening in the city!


This sports bar has a casual vibe – but its ocean views are next-level impressive. Lined with large windows that open to let in a cool beachy breeze, Wonderland’s location just one block from the beach and pier make it an awesome setting for something to sip on. Don’t miss the Sunset Happy Hour, with drink specials offered Monday through Friday.

Ketch Grill and Taps

An open-air restaurant right on the water, Ketch in Shelter Island feels like a hidden gem. Sip on a Ketch Brewing beer, wine or cocktail while overlooking dozens of sailboats docked just a few feet away. If you’re craving desert, walk to the shipping container (yep!) next door for a sweet treat at Portside Coffee & Gelato.

Mister A’s

This award-winning rooftop restaurant has been a local favorite since its opening in 1965. Just one from Balboa Park, Mister A’s the place to go for a posh aperitif with expansive city and bay views. Watch the sun go down, airplanes descend, and downtown turn from day to night with a cocktail in hand. Note: Mister A’s does have a dress code: think business casual, not beach attire.

Crab Catcher

La Jolla has an excellent selection of restaurants with sweeping ocean scenery. We love Crab Catcher in particular for their indoor and outdoor seating, and daily Happy Hour from 3-7 p.m. They also have some unbeatable daily specials, like six dollar martinis on Thursdays and three dollar margaritas on Sundays. With exceptional service and memorable panoramic views, this is a fantastic option for a sunset cocktail on Prospect Street.

Viewpoint Brewing

This dog-friendly brewery and gastropub is tucked away in Del Mar, not far from the racetrack. Pictures don’t really do Viewpoint justice when it comes to their unique location next to the San Dieguito Lagoon – it’s called Viewpoint for a reason, people! A wall of garage doors open to an expansive patio, creating an indoor/outdoor feel wherever you choose to plant yourself. Viewpoint offers more than 15 exclusive draft beers brewed onsite, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks like kombucha and ginger beer.